Chef Gordon Ramsay is being accused online of being hypocritical by launching his own line of frozen dinners.
In a viral TikTok that’s accrued over 1.4 million views, Roy Cisneros (@101marketplaceca) records himself walking into a Walmart’s freezer section. He approaches a freezer door revealing a slew of various Gordon Ramsay-branded frozen meals: risotto, lasagna, fish and chips, macaroni, lemon caper chicken, chicken pot pie, slow roasted beef, and shepherd’s pie. All the meals feature the same branding: Ramsay in his chef coat with his arms crossed. The meals are also plastered with his name: “CHEF RAMSEY.”
Ramsay has blasted restaurants for taking shortcuts in preparing meals for their customers and urged folks to engage in the joys of cooking fresh, seasonal, and local produce.
“So I’m at Walmart, and I gotta say, all the sh*t this dude gave restaurants for microwaving sh*t. … What is this?” Cisneros says in his video.
@101marketplaceca #GordonRamseyRoasts #MicrowaveMasterpiece #WalmartWonders #ChefVsMicrowave #FoodFunnies #TikTokLaughs #CookingComedy #ViralEats #KitchenJokes #MicrowavableMagic #FunnyFridays #HilariousMoments #LOLtimes #ComedyCraze #LaughOutLoud #HumorHeights #JokesterLife #ComedyGold #GigglesGalore #hahahijinks ♬ original sound – RoyCisneros
In shows like Kitchen Nightmares, where Ramsay goes to struggling businesses to give often brutally honest consulting advice, he lambasts kitchens for cutting corners, which involves “lazy” preparation methods like utilizing microwaves to reheat food.
A November 2021 Mashed article also highlights some of Ramsay’s thoughts on microwaves. “Ugh, I mean, microwaves are for lazy cooks,” he said, according to Mashed. “I was watching videos two weeks ago … of people sticking turkey in the f*cking microwave. … How the f*ck do you get flavor out of a turkey with a microwave?”
According to Insider, Ramsay said he believes that microwaves should only be used to get a head start on boiling or thawing something or to quickly reheat a meal but that microwaves can’t attain the texture and searing accomplished through traditional culinary techniques and equipment.
His views on microwaves are why TikToker had lots of thoughts on the chef’s line of frozen foods.
“I’d like to see a Kitchen Nightmares episode where Gordon Ramsey reviews a restaurant and it turns out they’re selling his microwave meals,” one said.
However, there were some who seemed to defend Ramsay’s choice, saying there’s a difference between someone microwaving a quick meal they want to scarf down at home versus going out to a restaurant and enjoying something prepared by a culinary professional. “The real problem is that pricing cause 6$ for one frozen meal?” they claimed, criticizing the cost of the meal instead.
“Someone else echoed this sentiment, writing, “but “I’m not going to a restaurant and expecting to pay triple the price for a frozen tv dinner. a frozen tv dinner is, well a frozen tv dinner lol.”
It’s not like Ramsay’s restaurants are necessarily getting a lot of love online from folks, either. Popular food influencer Keith Lee accused Ramsay’s Fish & Chips in Vegas of breaking health code violations after he said an employee openly admitted to there being a ton of cross-contamination going on between fish, shellfish, and chicken.
It should be noted, however, that on the back of Ramsay’s packaging, there aren’t any instructions provided for microwaving the meals. For instance, on the back of the packaging for the Fish & Chips frozen dinner, which retails for just under $6, the cooking instructions state that an air fryer is preferred, with a conventional oven as the secondary cooking option.
The Daily Dot reached out to Studio Ramsay and Walmart via email as well as to Cisneros via TikTok comment.